Chorleywood claimed their second win of the season with a comprehensive 50-run victory at home to struggling Totteridge Millhilians on Saturday.
Wood were asked to bat first and posted a respectable total of 208 for nine from their 53 overs.
Andrew Dunning top-scored with an aggressive 49 but no other batsman passed the 30 mark and that meant Wood were unable to post an imposing total. With the ball, the visitors tore into Totteridge’s batting line-up, taking regular wickets and never allowing any significant partnerships to build.
The damage was done by Dave Bushnell (three for 56) and spinner Will Pendred, who took five for 43.
Pendred’s dismissal of Totteridge skipper Shaun O’Brien for a second-ball duck was the key moment of the innings.
From that point Wood’s belief grew and the visitors were bowled out for just 158 in the 42nd over to give Wood another vital 30 points.
West Herts are third in the division after they secured a 36-run win in a low-scoring game against Knebworth Park.
The Stags batted first but limped to 150 for nine off their 53 overs on a slow wicket.
With the ball, West Herts picked up some early wickets and Phil Simpson was dismissed due to a truly stunning catch by Ian Gurney in the outfield.
At this point, the game looked to be in West Herts’ control but a fourth-wicket stand of 44 moved the initiative back to the visitors.
Captain Gurney returned to the attack and, ably supported by Duncan Hodges, the Knebworth runs dried up and the wickets began to tumble.
The Knebworth innings closed on 114 with Gurney taking six for 40 in 16.3 overs.
Hemel Hempstead clinched their second victory of the season as they completed a 34-run win against league leaders Welwyn Garden City – who included former Middlesex county and England Test player Owais Shah in their ranks.
Hemel batted first and performed well. Matt Dale, Billy May, Liam Jahn and Chris Blunt were all drafted into the side and helped steady the batting order which was led by Brett Penney, who struck 60.
Adam Winchester also impressed as he scored 58 not out for Hemel, who ended on 203 for six.
Welwyn had raced to five victories in five games this season but struggled in their reply.
Steve Reader proved to be the key man for Hemel with the ball. In his first match of the season he bowled Shah for just ten runs and went on to end with figures of five for 49.
That helped Hemel take control and City were all out for a disappointing 169.
Kings Langley remain without a win this season and they were left frustrated on Saturday as they had to settle for a draw against Hitchin.
Kings batted first and were in fine form.
Ricky Mohamed (105 not out) and Tom Sambrook (104 not out) enjoyed themselves in the sunshine with an unbroken partnership of 209.
Useful contributions also came from Paul Ashford (32) and Harry Sambrook (22) and Langley posted an imposing total of 274 for three from their 53 overs.
Despite reducing Hitchin to 94 for six, they could not press home their superior advantage and had to settle for the draw.
Mark Brazier was the pick of the bowlers for Kings and he claimed four for 66.
Met Police Bushey lead the division after they recorded a 48-run win against Northchurch.
Met captain Daniel Nightingale lost the toss and his side were invited to bat first on a tricky-looking wicket.
Northchurch bowled in good areas and made life difficult for openers Gareth Thomason and Harry Blagden. However, solid defence and good running kept the scoreboard ticking over.
As the innings progressed the sun began to dry the outfield and wicket which began to appear very flat. Thomason and Blagden was dismissed and were followed by Hammad Riaz, which brought Karan Joshi (61) and Simon Hamilton together at the crease.
Positive strokeplay from the pair soon got the scoreboard ticking again and a partnership developed. The scoring rate picked up and Met accelerated towards a strong total.
Further late runs from Ben Goode and Nightingale were added and Bushey ended on a strong 225 for seven.
Met were disciplined with the ball and restricted their opponents throughout their innings. Goode claimed three wickets as did Hamilton and Northchurch were dismissed on 178.
Northwood were left frustrated as they played out a draw against Ickleford.
On a wet wicket, Northwood’s overseas players Davel Panchal led the way as he scored 45 to help Wood to a total of 175 for nine.
In reply, Ickleford were coasting at 98 for one but the introduction of Ross Noach, who took six for 46, put the brakes on and Ickleford ended up on 144 for seven.
Leverstock Green lost their first game of the season as they went down to a disappointing 50-run defeat to St Albans West Indian.
Having inserted their hosts and dismissed them for 141, victory looked an achievable target after four wickets apiece from Green spin duo Lewis Koch and Brad Klosterman.
But, allied to an unpredictable drying track, below-par batting from Levy saw them skittled out for 90.
Hemel Hempstead Seconds suffered a one-wicket defeat against Radlett Seconds.
Hemel batted first and made 170. Suren Perera top-scored with 43 while Tom Waterton – returning from injury – struck 31. Faisal Iqbal also added a useful 25 to the Hemel total.
With the ball, Hemel spinners Bryan Davies (five for 89) and Iqbal (one for 35) performed well.
A patient innings of 43 from Dave Robinson guided Radlett along. Once he was dismissed and Yasir Mughal had returned to the pavilion for 39 after being bowled by Duncan Howard, Hemel were in with a chance.
The match could’ve gone either way, however, with nine balls remaining Radlett struck the winning runs to secure victory.